When a loved one passes away, a probate proceeding must often be opened with the court in order for the assets of the estate to be properly managed and then properly distributed to the beneficiaries. The Probate or estate administration is a process controlled by statute. The length of time it takes to complete a probate process depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the statutes and rules of the Court. In Florida, if an estate is valued at less than $75,000.00 (excluding the homestead property) a Summary Administration may be opened, if all creditors are known. If the estate is valued at more than $75,000.00 and/or unknown creditors exist, a Formal Administration will need to be opened with the court. At the Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller, we represent the Personal Representative, often times called the Executor, to meet his/her duties to the court and his/her duties to the beneficiaries. We efficiently execute the probate procedure, while remaining sensitive to the loss of a loved one.
You may find out after the death of a loved one that you were named as Trustee. If you do not have any financial or any legal background, this new position may seem daunting. At The Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller our experienced attorneys are available to serve as your counsel to help ensure that you meet your duties as Trustee and properly administer the Trust. This can be very complex, depending upon the value and complexity of the estate. In addition, we serve as counsel to Trustees of Special Needs Trusts and we ourselves serve as Trust Protectors for Special Needs Trusts. This requires an in depth knowledge of governmental benefits such as SSI and Medicaid. Without such experienced counsel a trustee runs the risk of disqualifying a beneficiary of monthly governmental benefits or incurring an overpayment due to SSI or Medicaid based upon errors in disbursements made by a trustee. The Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller will review the trust documents and guide you in your fiduciary duties as Trustee.